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How does bail
When an individual is arrested for a crime in the State of
California, typically that person will be taken to a local law enforcement station for
booking, prior to incarceration in a station lock-up or county jail. Once arrested and
booked, the defendant has several options for release pending the conclusion of his or her
case. Bail is designed to guarantee the appearance of a defendant in court at the time the
What are the release options if someone is
There are five basic release options available. The five
Cash Bail - Cash bail means a person must give the court the total amount of the bail in cash. The cash will be held by the court until the defendant
appears to all of his/her court cases and the case is concluded. Full cash bonds provide a
powerful incentive for the defendant to appear in court. If the defendant appears for all
of his/her scheduled court appearances, the cash bail should be
returned in full.
Surety Bond - An alternative to cash bail is a surety bond. This process involves a contractual
undertaking guaranteed by an admitted insurance company having adequate assets to satisfy
the face value of the bond. The bail agent guarantees to the
court that they will pay the bond forfeiture if a defendant fails to appear for their
scheduled court appearances. The bail agents guarantee is
made through a surety company and/or by pledging property owned by the bail agent.
For this service, the defendant is charged a premium
(typically 10% of the bail amount in California). For example, if the bail
amount in $10,000.00, the premium charged is $1,000.00. Prior to the posting of the surety
bond, the defendant, friend or relative must contact a licensed bail
agent. Binders Bail Bonds can be contacted toll-free at
1-800-957-2245. Once a bail agent is contacted, an interview or
appointment will be immediately scheduled.
By involving the family and friends of a defendant, as well
as through the acceptance of collateral, the bail agent can be
reasonably assured that the defendant released on a surety bond will appear to all of
his/her court appearances.
After this procedure is completed, the bail
agent will post a bond for the full bail amount, financially guaranteeing the
defendants return to court as scheduled.
With money on the line, the bail agent
has a financial interest in supervising bailees, and ensuring that they appear in court
each end every time the court orders them to appear. If the defendant does not appear in
court (skips), the bail agent has time and the financial incentive to find the defendant
and bring him/her to court.
Property Bond - In rare cases an individual
may be released by posting a property bond with the court. With a property bond, the court
records a lien on the property to secure the bail amount. If the
defendant fails to appear in court as scheduled, the court may foreclose on the property
to obtain the forfeited bail amount.
Release on Own Recognizance (O.R.) - Another
method of release, pending trial, is through a county or law enforcement administered
pre-trial release program. Usually, the employees of these programs interview defendants
in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding the release of these
individuals on their own recognizance (i.e., without any financial security to insure the
The interview process is often conducted over the telephone,
usually with little inquiry into the defendants background. The interview process
attempts to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court. There is usually
no verification of information provided by the defendant. Since no money, property or bond
is posted to secure the defendants appearance in court, he/she faces no personal
economic hardship from the conscious decision not to appear in court.
Release on Citation (Cite Out) - This
procedure involves the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer to the arrestee,
informing the arrestee that he/she must appear in court at an appointed court date.
The "Cite Out" usually occurs immediately after an
individual is arrested. As a consequence of the failure to follow complete booking
procedures, the true identity and background of most individuals released on citation is
never established. This results in the release of numerous arrestees who may have
outstanding bench warrants pending or who may present a significant danger to society.
Accordingly, in those cases involving "Cite Outs",
the arrestee may never be placed in custody. Like the Own Recognizance (O.R.) release, the
defendants appearance in court depends exclusively on the integrity of the defendant
voluntarily returning to court as ordered by the court.
How much does a bail bond (surety bond)
In California, the bail premium (fee)
is typically 10% of the full bail amount. For example, if the bail amount is $10,000.00,
the premium charged is $1,000.00.
How much of the premium will I get back?
Typically the 10% premium is fully earned once the bail bond
is posted with a jail or court. That is how bail agents and
their surety companies make their money and pay their bills.
What is collateral?
Collateral is anything of value used to financially secure a bail bond.
What can be used as collateral?
Some examples of collateral include houses, cars, boats,
jewelry, electronic equipment (you get the idea).
When will collateral be returned?
Collateral is usually returned when the court finishes with
the defendants case(s), exonerating the bail bond(s), and when all fees have been
How long does it take to get released from jail?
Orange County has two types of jails. There are city jails
operated by city police departments (i.e.: Santa Ana Police Department) and there are
county jails operated by the Orange County Sheriffs Department. After a defendant is
booked into a city jail in Orange County (i.e.: fingerprinted, photographed, warrants
checked, etc.), it typically takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour to be released on
bail. After a defendant is booked into a county jail in Orange County, it usually takes
anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to be released on bail. We wish we could speed up the process
but the city and county jails operate at their own pace. Binders
Bail Bonds does everything possible to expedite the release of you, your friend or
loved one. Let us assure you we will be by your side every step of the way.
At Binder's Bail Bonds,
you'll discover an easy to use, information packed web site. Click here to learn more about bail.
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